Biking enthusiasts not just spinning their wheels

Background Reading

Summary

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-3rd, third from left, was among those attending the recent ribbon-cutting and grand opening for the Cal-Sag Trail. (Bike Psychos Cycling Club)

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-3rd, third from left, was among those attending the recent ribbon-cutting and grand opening for the Cal-Sag Trail. (Bike Psychos Cycling Club)

Greetings, fellow Oak Lawnians!

Oak Lawn has been going to the dogs and bikes this month.

A project that was years in the making, the Cal-Sag Trail, had its grand opening and a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 6 to coincide with National Trails Day. Ribbon-cutting festivities took place at Lake Katherine Nature Center in Palos Heights and included bike rides, music and other fun family events.

Oak Lawn’s Bike Psychos Cycling Club also attended this milestone event. Bike Psychos chairwoman Deanna Sandei said, “It’s great having a trail within our own back yard and connecting us to multiple communities. I love having this right in our own back yard.”

The Bike Psychos also collaborated with Oak Lawn’s Green Team to host the fourth annual Bike Tour, which took place June 13. The nine-mile bike ride kicked off at 9 a.m. from Patriot Station — the Oak Lawn Metra train station — and this year’s route primarily went through the east and north sides of Oak Lawn.

Oak Lawn police officers escorted the group to ensure a safe ride, followed by the Bike Psychos. Emergency medical personnel from the Oak Lawn Fire Department also participated to assist in the event of a medical emergency.

The Bike Tour once again was combined with the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce’s Spring Into Summer event, which included the always-entertaining pet parade. The Bike Tour route included a stop at Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School, where participants for the pet parade were assembling.

From there, the Bike Tour group led the pet parade to the Village Green, where the Spring Into Summer event was taking place.

The Bike Tour took some planning.

“We started talking about it as soon as the last ride (in 2014) was over,” Sandei said. “Once we get the date, we start working with the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce.”

The Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn also was instrumental in facilitating the online registration process and provided free museum passes to participants.

The ride goes on rain or shine, so weather and safety always are critical elements. Fortunately, this year’s event took place on a dry (but muggy) day.

When Bike Tour and pet parade participants arrived at the Village Green, the Spring Into Summer event offered lots of fun family activities, with business and pet vendors and exhibits, a car show, petting zoo, music and food. Best Dressed Pet and the Pet/Owner Look-alike contests also provided entertainment for all.

Of course, none of these events could happen without the help of local sponsors, as well as the support of the Oak Lawn fire and police departments.

Bike Psychos members and the community are very pleased with how the village of Oak Lawn is embracing and adapting to accommodate bike riding as an alternate source of transportation.

“The village of Oak Lawn is a positive influence in encouraging cycling around the Oak Lawn community,” Sandei said.

For more information on the Bike Psychos Cycling Club and upcoming events, visit http://www.Bikepsychos.org or http://www.Facebook.com/bikepsychos.

Sunday’s concert

Railroad Gin will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday (weather permitting) on the Village Green, east of the Municipal Center and north of the Oak Lawn Public Library (9427 S. Raymond Ave.). Bring your chairs and blankets and enjoy a fun night of rock music.

‘Celebrity’ announcements

Here are this week’s featured “celebrity” announcements: Happy ninth birthday to Jonathan Kohlstedt from his parents and sisters, Grace and Jillian, and grandmother, Dawn Carlsen. Happy 21st birthday to Erica Erdakos from her parents and brothers, Jason and Joey. Vicki Paprocki’s family wish her a happy 30th birthday. Happy birthday to Jim Buschbach and George Frietag.

Wedding anniversary wishes go out to the following couples: Tim and Linda LoScuito (third anniversary), Pat and Lisa Kohlstedt (13th), Mike and Anne Styx, and Michael and Janet Paluch (14th for both couples), Kurt and Allyson Seehofer (19th), Mike and Lisa Keysboe (20th), Sotiri and Judy Grimanis (39th), and Lisa and Jose Lopez (40th).

Keep your fellow Oak Lawnians informed about birthdays, special events or special “stuff” going on with your family or within the community. Call me at (708) 899-9544.

Until next time …

Cheryl Petzel is a freelance columnist.

Copyright © 2015, Daily Southtown


TakeAways

It is great to see that the development of the Cal-Sag Trail is ‘getting some press‘. This trail was built for one-fifth the cost of the vaunted 606 Trail and is going to be some 5 times greater in length!

Leave it to Chicago to figure out how to spend our tax dollars wisely!